Most hotels in Johor fully booked this CNY

The Johor Bahru skyline, on the southernmost coast of Peninsula Malaysia. Many hotels in the state are seeing almost full occupancy this Chinese New Year.
The Johor Bahru skyline, on the southernmost coast of Peninsula Malaysia. Many hotels in the state are seeing almost full occupancy this Chinese New Year. PHOTO: ST FILE

JOHOR BARU - Many hotels in the state are seeing almost full occupancy this Chinese New Year.

Many overseas visitors, especially South Koreans, are taking the opportunity to escape the winter and celebrate the Lunar New Year, known as Seollal back home, in Malaysia.

Tanjung Puteri Golf Resort events and promotions manager Magdelene Err said besides soaking up the sun, the South Koreans are also enjoying themselves by playing golf.

"During the winter months, many golfers will come to South-east Asian countries to play," she said.

Err said many South Koreans are also making a beeline for the factory outlet in Kulai as well as theme parks in Iskandar Puteri.

Chinese New Year bookings for the resort, she added, started from as early as November, mostly by Singaporeans on a short break or visiting relatives in the state.

Puteri Pacific and Persada Johor International Convention Centre sales director Joyce Yap said during festive holidays, occupancy rate could hit more than 80 per cent for hotels in the city.

"Most of our guests are locals from outside Johor and Singaporeans," she said.

Yap said while Malaysians would go over to Singapore, many still preferred to stay in Johor Baru.

"Room rates in Johor Baru are more affordable compared to Singapore where guests have to fork out about S$300 per night for a four-star hotel," she said.

Mutiara Hotel Johor Baru marketing and communications manager Lily Tham said 20 per cent of its guests were from Singapore, 20 per cent from China while the rest were locals.

"We see more guests from China during Chinese New Year in recent years as many of them take advantage of the holidays to travel," she said.